Advice on treadmill

I am thinking of getting a treadmill to use at home. I have never used one and my balance is pretty shaky so I don’t know how safe they are to use. Are there any safety features that would make using a treadmill safer for someone with ataxia?

On another forum somebody recently mentioned using a treadmill with a safety harness but this would be far too expensive to have at home. However, for anyone that’s interested, I have found a couple of treadmills that have side rails for extra safety (see links below). The problem is that they are much more expensive than standard treadmills.®-GT260-Rehabilitation-Treadmill-for-Home/TreadCare®-Power-Walker-Rehabilitation-Treadmill-GT260__p-■■■■-1289.aspx

I belong to LA Fitness gym. I go there 4 times a week and use the treadmill each time. I make sure that I hold on for balance soas not to fall. I don’t run on it [I can’t]. My suggestion to you before you buy one is to go to a gym on a free guest pass and try it out. I don’t know where you live or what health plan you might have but some health plans have “Silver Sneakers” which allows you to join a gym for free. Give your health plan a call and see what’s available. Incidentally, excellent idea by you to exercise.

From your links, I see you’re in UK. Still, do what I suggested. You never know.

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Thanks for the advice. I am going to speak to someone at my local gym anyway, although I’m not sure I’ll even be able to get up on the treadmills there, let alone use them. But thanks for your reply.

I don’t know if they still make these for home use, but, about 100 years ago when treadmills first became avail for home use my parents had one that had a “safety card” attached via a lanyard. You clipped one end to your clothes, the other end had a card on it that slipped into a slot on the machine. The machine wouldn’t run without the card in place. If you slipped off the machine or fell or anything else the card would pull free, turning off the treadmill.


My treadmill has this facility, and it’s less than 100yrs old :joy: Actually getting on/off is one of my challenges :wink: xB

Most of the treadmills come with a safety lock on a lanyard. I used a treadmill all my adult life till I could not use it anymore. Not only I am concerned about safety, but I get muscle spasms on my back and legs. Now I use a stationary bike where safety is not much of a concern.

Thanks to everyone for replying. I have found your comments extremely useful. I have also noticed that you can hire treadmills reasonably cheaply, so that’s another option to consider.

One thing to be aware of is that treadmills weigh a lot. Be sure you have enough muscle power to get it where it is going and do not plan to move it. I find that holding on to the front rails works best for me and I think they all have that.

I use a Elliptical machine. I won’t be able to keep up with the rhythm of a treadmill.

The elliptical I use is a Schwinn 431 which is for home use.

My husband uses a recumbent bike in our back bedroom. That might be a safer way to get in some exercise. Best of luck to you and GOD bless!

I have silver sneakers at the local ymca and I have tried the treadmills but at my age and my abilities they are kind of scary I have to hold on to the handles at all times to keep from falling.I have found the Exercycle safer for me.

I use an elliptical as well. Much safer because you have to hold on

If you have concerns about getting a treadmill then you should ask your Neurologist. Try some walking videos and other stepping videos to see how that works for you. You can hurt yourself on a treadmill just see those youtube videos.

I use elliptical trainer too as cant use treadmill unsupervised and much cheaper for home use.
I have vibro-plate machine too which is good for stretches and squats.

I’m still housing my daughter’s vibro-plate, no-one in the family wants to use it. The one time I tried it …:woman_facepalming: Is it actually in motion when you stretch and squat Patsy :thinking: xB

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yes, I put it on timer for 10 minutes and do various stretches holding onto the front bar

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Zoe is right…although no experience with treadmils, found it hard to get into rhythm when ok, I mean prior to being diagnosed with sca2…I have just recently discovered at my hospital, physio session a stationary bike, with a focus on safe seating, comfy with back safely in place…and balance cushion…which I subsequently ordered on a…, so NOT doing free advert. Make sure you have appropriate exercises with balance cushion, however easy they look, even lifting one’s leg with balance issue is a major achievement…

I switched from a treadmill to a spinner bike do to falls on the treadmill. The bike is safe and provides a great workout for both cardio and core

I rode a two wheel road bike for years. When it became too difficult, I switched to a 3 wheeled recumbent bike (Cat Trike). Now I have this. Safe, easy to use, and does the job.

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Looks good. I have something similar made by Schwinn. Gave up treadmill 5 years ago.

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